The silicate minerals make up the largest and most important class of rock-forming minerals, constituting approximately 90 percent of the crust of the Earth. They are classified based on the structure of their silicate group which contain different ratios of silicon and oxygen.


Nesosilicates or orthosilicatesEdit

File:Nesosilicates exhibit, Museum of Geology, South Dakota.jpg

Template:Maincat Nesosilicates (from Greek νησος nēsos, island), or orthosilicates, have isolated (insular) [SiO4]4− tetrahedra that are connected only by interstitial cations. Nickel-Strunz classification: 09.A

File:Kyanite crystals.jpg


File:Sorosilicates exhibit, Museum of Geology, South Dakota.jpg

Template:Maincat Sorosilicates (from Greek σωρός sōros, heap, mound) have isolated double tetrahedra groups with (Si2O7)6− or a ratio of 2:7. Nickel-Strunz classification: 09.B


File:Cyclosilicate exhibit, Museum of Geology, South Dakota.jpg

Template:Maincat Cyclosilicates (from Greek κύκλος kuklos, circle), or ring silicates, have linked tetrahedra with (TxO3x)2x- or a ratio of 1:3. These exist as 3-member (T3O9)6- and 6-member (T6O18)12- rings, where T stands for a tetrahedrally coordinated cation. Nickel-Strunz classification: 09.C

Note that the ring in axinite contains two B and four Si tetrahedra and is highly distorted compared to the other 6-member ring cyclosilicates.


Template:Maincat Inosilicates (from Greek ις is [genitive: ινος inos], fibre), or chain silicates, have interlocking chains of silicate tetrahedra with either SiO3, 1:3 ratio, for single chains or Si4O11, 4:11 ratio, for double chains. Nickel-Strunz classification: 09.D

Single chain inosilicatesEdit

Double chain inosilicatesEdit


Template:Maincat Phyllosilicates (from Greek φύλλον phyllon, leaf), or sheet silicates, form parallel sheets of silicate tetrahedra with Si2O5 or a 2:5 ratio. Nickel-Strunz classification: 09.E

The word comes from the Greek word phyllon, which means "leaf".[1]



Template:Maincat Tectosilicates, or "framework silicates," have a three-dimensional framework of silicate tetrahedra with SiO2 or a 1:2 ratio. This group comprises nearly 75% of the crust of the Earth. Tectosilicates, with the exception of the quartz group, are aluminosilicates. Nickel-Strunz classification: 09.F and 09.G, 04.DA (Quartz/ silica family)

File:Quartz oisan.jpg
File:Lunar Ferroan Anorthosite 60025.jpg


See alsoEdit



  1. Essentials of Geology, 3rd Ed, Stephen Marshak

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      ISBN 0-582-30094-0. 
  • Deer, W.A.; Howie, R.A., Wise, W.S. & Zussman, J. (2004). Rock-forming minerals. Volume 4B. Framework silicates: silica minerals. Feldspathoids and the zeolites (2nd ed.). London: Geological Society of London. p. 982 pp. 
  • Hurlbut, Cornelius S. (1966). Dana's Manual of Mineralogy (17th ed.). ISBN 0-471-03288-3
      ISBN 0-471-03288-3. 
  • Hurlbut, Cornelius S.; Klein, Cornelis (1985). Manual of Mineralogy (20th ed.). Wiley. ISBN 0-471-80580-7
      ISBN 0-471-80580-7. 

External linksEdit

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Template:Strunz ar:معادن السيليكات ca:Mineral silicat de:Silikate eo:Silikatmineraloj fa:کانی‌های سیلیکات fr:Silicate mk:Силикатни минерали ja:ケイ酸塩鉱物 pt:Silicato (minerais)